Michael Jordan might be a maestro on the basketball court, but he’s almost as famous for his contribution to the world of athletics apparel and footwear. Air Jordan, the famous footwear brand synonymous with the basketball giant, has been going since the early 1980s, when Nike approached Jordan to partner with them in the development and release of an innovative footwear label.
The first Nike Air Jordan was released to the market in 1985 and since then, dozens more pieces of footwear and thousands of items of apparel have been released to the worldwide market.
Michael Jordan himself is responsible for the concept behind the footwear, although in recent years the label has developed to include designs and products from other creative sources. Despite this, Jordan maintains a tight oversight of the Nike subsidiary, and continues to promote the Jordan Brand, its product lines, and causes. Since the first pair of Air Jordan shoes were released in 1985, there’s been upwards of thirty individual Nike Air Jordan released to the market.
The first pair of Air Jordans (also known as the Air Jordan I) were designed to honour the team colours of the Chicago Bulls, the team that Jordan was playing for at the time. More colour options were introduced in following years, and Jordan would often demonstrate his latest designs on the court as he played.
In more recent years, the Nike Air Jordan brand has evolved to include a selection of hybrid shoes that have been worn more casually. The brand has always enjoyed a prominent position in footwear sales and commanded an impressive high tag, but the shoes have remained incredibly popular and best-sellers for decades. The most recent pair of Air Jordan shoes, the AJ XXXs, was released in January 2016, borrowing elements from AJs from across the entire design catalogue.